Internships for MSc Projects in Engineering at ESO

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere
16. 12. 2021

The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere has as its primary mission to build and operate state-of-the-art facilities for the advancement of astronomical research. A strong Research & Development (R&D) programme is therefore at the core of ESO’s activities.

What are we looking for?

Dynamic individuals, ready to take an active part in the ESO R&D projects with a good deal of team spirit, curiosity and eagerness to learn while bringing innovative ideas to the table.

What are we offering?

  • Several possibilities to make an internship of 5 to 6 months in the frame of the last year of your graduate studies (master 2 level) at ESO Garching in an engineering field.
  • An international, multi-disciplinary environment, situated on the Garching science campus close to Munich, Germany, next to the best German universities and world-renowned research centres.
  • Working in collaboration with ESO’s partner institutes and high-tech industries in the ESO member states.
  • Three observatories at the forefront of ground-based astronomy and of technology: La Silla, Paranal and ALMA. And one of the most challenging telescopes under construction: the
  • Extremely Large Telescope.
  • A compensation for the cost of living in Munich and accommodation in an ESO shared apartment.

Current ESO active R&D projects:

  • Advanced visible and infrared detectors for astronomical instrumentation (modelling, testing, development of CMOS fast detectors, curved detectors…);
  • Gigahertz receivers, cryogenic first-stage amplifiers for ALMA (development & testing);
  • Adaptive optics and related components including laser guide stars, deformable mirrors, wavefront sensing, tomographic techniques, interactions with segmented mirrors…;
  • System simulation and modelling including deformable mirrors, telescope seeing effects, exposure time calculators, instruments, model-based system engineering;
  • Optical metrology and photonics for (sub-)micrometric large structure characterisation, interferometry;
  • Mechanics and cryogenics;
  • Real-time computing.

For more details, examples of research projects and master’s thesis subjects please see the following


If you are interested in enhancing your early career through a master’s thesis, then please apply via our

Include the following documents in your application:

  • A motivation letter including the desired period of internship and an outline of why you wish to join one of the proposed projects (maximum one page);
  • A curriculum vitae including an outline of your technical/practical experience and the name and contact details of one person familiar with your engineering work and willing to provide a recommendation letter.

There is no closing date for the applications but only a limited number of positions. The candidatures will be examined regularly, starting November 30, 2020.The master’ thesis internships are expected to begin in the first half of 2021.

For any additional questions please contact: Francoise Delplancke-Ströbele, Tel. +49 89 3200 65 10, email:

No nationality is in principle excluded, however, recruitment preference will be given to nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Chile irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity or religion.


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